Page 1



Taking the helm

Blazing a new trail

Members of the DeKalb County Board of Education met with state senators to discuss the issues that could cause the system to lose its accreditation. 3

City Commissioners Jim Baskett (left) and Kecia Cunningham were elected mayor and mayor pro tem, respectively, in the city of Decatur. 4

Marching bands and others will follow a different path for the DeKalb NAACP’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade. 9

Questions for the board



January 12, 2013

Copyright © 2013 CrossRoadsNews, Inc.

Volume 18, Number 37

Conyers mom devastated by loss of four children in fire A Conyers mother who lost four of her five children in a Jan. 8 fire is recovering from fourthdegree burns at Grady Healthcare in Atlanta. Family and friends said 28-year-old Reeba Glass is devastated by the loss of her family. As flames raced through their duplex at 1149 Pinedale Circle, she was only able to save her 6-year-old son Darnell Glass Jr. by throwing him out the window. Glass sustained severe burns over 40 percent of her body, including her forehead, stomach, arms, back and legs. The other children – Ah’Dariya Glass, 9; Dar’Shawn Glass, 7; Armoni Roberts, 3; and 8-month-old Deon Glass – who were asleep in the upstairs bedroom perished in the flames. Mourners have been leaving stuffed animals

Reeba Glass of Conyers is shown with four of her five children. Glass; her 6-year-old son, Darnell; and her mother, Rosetta Mitchell, survived the Jan. 8 fire in their duplex.

and balloons at the house and friends have established the Glass Family fund at Wells Fargo Bank. Donations can be made at any branch of the bank to account number 1009683226. The family’s church, Macedonia Baptist in Conyers, is collecting emergency clothing, shoes and household goods. Pastor Billie Cox said Darnell and his mother had an emotional reunion on Wednesday. Glass told Cox about it the next day. “Darnell told his mom they needed to buy some toys to take home to his brothers and sisters,” Cox said. “Reba said it broke her heart because little Darnell didn’t understand that they weren’t there and would never come home again.” Please see FIRE, page 4

Ellis seeks legal counsel in wake of raids Investigators remove documents and hard drives from CEO Burrell Ellis’ Stone Mountain home on Jan. 7 in a probe of Watershed Management and county contracting.

CEO’s home, office among sites searched in probe By Ken Watts and Jennifer Ffrench Parker

DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis is seeking legal representation in the wake of raids on his home and office on Jan. 7 by investigators. Ellis was unavailable for the rest of the week, but Burke Brennan, his spokesman, said Thursday that he had not yet retained counsel but has spoken with lawyers about the developments of the Burrell Ellis past few days and their possible implications. Investigators were collecting evidence for a special grand jury that has been probing the county’s Watershed Management and county contracting. The search warrants said they are seeking information under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, extortion, bribery, theft by taking, and influence peddling laws. They said investigators were looking for vehicles registered or assigned to Ellis and personal and business financial records including checking accounts, savings accounts, retirement and investment accounts, tax returns, safe deposit box keys, and storage devices. Investigators took boxes of documents and computer hard drives from Ellis’ home in the Southland subdivision in Stone Mountain and from his downtown Decatur offices as part of the wide-ranging probe. Ellis was testifying for the second time before the grand jury on Jan. 7 when the raids began about 10 a.m. Ellis told reporters that he was handed

Ken Watts / CrossRoadsNews

the search warrants at the end of his onehour testimony. He said he was perplexed by the raids. “I have done nothing wrong,” he said. “I can’t imagine anything in my home, office or personal effects that would raise an eyebrow.” Investigators also searched the Atlanta offices of Ellis’ friend and former campaign manager Kevin Ross and took “any and all ‘backup’ discs and/or tapes and any archived e-mail messages” for Ellis and a number of his assistants and department heads from the county’s IT department. Specifically, they took e-mail messages for Ellis, his former Chief of Staff Jabari Simama, his current Chief of Staff Hakim Hilliard, Nina Hall, Karen Williams, Kelvin Walton, Felton Wil-

liams, Yolanda Broome, Joe Basista, Ken Saunders, William “Wiz” Miller, Chris Morris, Richard Stogner and Joel Alvarado. Investigators also searched the county’s finance, elections, and purchasing and contracting offices. The seven search warrants, signed by DeKalb Superior Court Judge Cynthia J. Becker on Jan. 4 and executed on Monday, sought “any and all” records pertaining to the county’s contracts for probation services, lobbying, ambulance services, and its Watershed Management Capital Improvement Program. At the county’s Finance Office, they were in search of Ellis’ American Express credit card records, and at the Elections Office, his campaign finance disclosure records.

The warrant on Ross sought documents pertaining to the DeKalb County probation services contract, lobbying contracts, and ambulance services, and specifically “any and all documents associated with Sentinel Probation Services, Montgomery Watson, Rural Metro Ambulance, Massey-Bowers, and the Ferguson Group.” Ellis, who took the oath of office for his second and final four-year term as CEO, told reporters at a 12:30 p.m. news conference on Monday that he didn’t have representation but would seek it to protect his family. It was his second time appearing before the grand jury, which has been investigating for more than a year. Please see CEO, page 2




January 12, 2013

“It’s not just about South DeKalb. It’s the whole of DeKalb. We are all of our brother’s keepers.”

Congressman urges caution in corruption cases ‘I have done nothing inappropriate’ By Jennifer Ffrench Parker

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson expressed concerns this week over the portrayal of DeKalb County as a “fundamentally corrupt” place. “There is corruption everywhere, but I don’t take well to the idea DeKalb is this bastion of corruption,” Johnson told members of the South DeKalb Rotary Club on Jan. 9, two days after investigators raided the home and office of Hank Johnson DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis, hunting for evidence for a special grand jury probe into the county’s Watershed Management and county contracting. The search warrants said they are seeking information under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, extortion, bribery, theft by taking, and influence peddling laws. Johnson, who represented District 5

on the DeKalb Board of Commissioners and served with Ellis when he was a commissioner, said he knows the people in the county and finds it difficult to believe what he is hearing. “We should question the innuendos that are out there,” he said. “When you hear about the School Board, the Board of Commissioners and the CEO, it starts to create a bad impression that drives away economic development. If we continue on this path, people will not come, dollars will not come. In fact, dollars will fly away.” Johnson cautioned the public to reserve judgment until all the evidence is in. “When an accused gets a fair trial, justice has been served,” said Johnson, who was a defense attorney for 27 years before his election to the U.S. House in 2006. “You cannot tell me this county is corrupt,” he said. “I know it, I know the people and they are not all corrupt.” Johnson said a lot of people thought former CEO Vernon Jones was corrupt, but no charges have been filed against him and the

four-year statute of limitations is up. He said he is ready to fight for DeKalb. “If we lose this fight, they will take away everything we’ve got. It’s not just about South DeKalb. It’s the whole of DeKalb. We are all of our brother’s keepers.” The congressman, who began his fourth term in office this month, said that DeKalb needs to regain its perch at the top of metropolitan government. “We have to get back to the principles of the four-way test,” said Johnson, who is a former Rotarian. “We need leadership leading with these kinds of principles.” Rotary’s four-way test requires members of the service club to be guided by four principles in all they do: “Is it the truth?” “Is it fair to all concerned?” “Will it build goodwill and better friendship?” and “Will it be beneficial to all concerned?” “It’s up to us what kind of government we have locally and nationally,” Johnson said. “Who will put it on the line for what is right? Have we paid attention to why we are being portrayed the way we are?”

Recording artist to perform at Jamaica Jubilee awards dence Ball and ScholarJamaican songstress ship Awards attended by Karen Smith will perform more than 800 people at the Jamaica 50th Anniand Jamaica’s ambassaversary Awards Ceremony dor to the United States, at the Atlanta City Hall Stephen Vasciannie, who Atrium on Jan. 19. will be back for the Jan. The Caribbean island 19 event. nation, which got its indeThe awards ceremony pendence from Britain on Karen Smith S. Vasciannie starts at 6:30 p.m. and inAug. 6, 1962, is celebrating its 50th anniversary with yearlong events at cludes a buffet dinner. Tickets are $35 each. Smith, a former loan officer, gave up a home and abroad. Last August, the Atlanta Jamaica community hosted a 50th Indepen- career in banking for singing. Her second

album, “I Still Love You,” was released last year. Her first, “Everything I Need,” came out in the early 1990s on the heels of her first No. 1 hit single, “Oh Me Oh My,” in 1989. Smith appreciates recording in the studio but says her passion is performing. “I was born to sing,” she said. “I am so happy when I am before the audience.” DJ Extreme will provide music. Atlanta City Hall Atrium is at 55 Trinity St. in downtown Atlanta. For more information, contact or call 1-866-453-3929.


from page


Ellis and his wife, Phillipa, are both lawyers. “I am not represented now, but I am going to get counsel to protect my family,” he said. Ellis said he is cooperating fully with the grand jury and has instructed his staff to do the same. During his Jan. 7 testimony, he said he was asked about how the county lets contracts but declined to go into specifics because of the ongoing investigation. “My staff hasn’t done anything inappropriate,” he said. “I haven’t done anything inappropriate that I’m aware of.” Ellis’ 83-year-old mother, who is visiting from Washington, D.C., and attended his Jan. 3 “unity inauguration,” was at the house when detectives arrived with the warrant. Ellis said she let officers into the home before going next door to sit with a neighbor while the team did its work. To a question about his campaign contributions, Ellis told reporters that he may have received campaign contributions from county vendors but never promised anything in return. “I’m CEO,” he said. “I talk to a lot of vendors. I have done nothing inappropriate.” Ellis said the search warrants are extraordinarily broad. “I don’t know what they are looking for,” he said. “I have a safe in the house. I gave them the combination. I expect they will leave a list of things they have taken.”

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“We are going to do whatever is necessary to maintain our accreditation and get off probation.”

DeKalb state senators question School Board members By Ken Watts

DeKalb’s Senate delegation to the Georgia General Assembly called School Board members to the State Capitol on Jan. 8 to help the district avoid a threatened loss of school accreditation. In a scathing Dec. 17 report, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools put the district on a one-year probation. The report cited poor and ineffective governance, declining student performance, and “depletion of financial resources of this system” to a dangerous level. SACS said probation is one step away from loss of accreditation. At a hearing before the state Board of Education on Jan. 17, the DeKalb board will have to present evidence as to why the state board shouldn’t recommend to Gov. Nathan Deal that he suspend the DeKalb board under Georgia law 20-2-73(a) enacted in 2011. At Tuesday’s hearing, Senate delegation Chairman Emanuel Jones said accreditation loss would have a devastating impact on DeKalb’s children, business growth, property values and general quality of life. “We’re committed to working with you through the process,” Jones told the School Board members during the meeting. He said the delegation will have input with Deal on how to handle the crisis. School Board Chairman Eugene Walker attended the session along with new members Marshall Orson, Dr. Melvin Johnson and veteran member Jay Cunningham. Four of the five-member Senate delegation – Jones, Gail Davenport, Steve Henson and Jason Carter – were in attendance. Sen. Ronald Ramsey, the DeKalb School District’s chief legal officer, recused himself. Carter said he’s no fan of SACS but said some issues were valid. He wanted to know

DeKalb School Board Chairman Eugene Walker addresses state senators on Jan. 8. Looking on from left: Jay Cunningham, Dr. Melvin Johnson and Marshall Orson.

Ken Watts / CrossRoadsNews

how “things got to this point.” Responding to Carter’s question, Orson said that he is new to the board but is aware of some of the things highlighted. “There was a perception of divisive attitudes and personal agendas of people no longer on the board,” he said. Cunningham, who has served for seven years, said he’s seen the governance style evolve. He suggested that SACS tries to “micromanage” board operations but agreed that members need to improve their communication with each other and with the public. “We as a board are evolving our collective mind on how we are going to approach [this crisis],” Walker said before delivering a prepared statement. “We are going to do whatever is necessary to maintain our accreditation and get off probation.” Walker said he accepted Jones’ invitation to reassure the Legislature and the DeKalb community that “we are working closely with SACS on the issues raised in its report on the DeKalb County School District.” But he took issue with SACS’ charge that the district has mismanaged funds for 10 years even though the agency renewed

CLAUDIA G. LAWSON DeKalb County Tax Commissioner


MOTOR VEHICLE OWNERS Effective March 1, 2013, House Bill 386 removes the sales and annual ad valorem tax on newly-purchased vehicles. A one-time title tax of 6.5% (2013), 6.75% (2014) and 7% (2015) replaces the annual tax. Here’s what you need to know: • New one-time title ad valorem tax fee applies to all title transactions (new and used vehicle purchases, transfers, all transfers among family members, or vehicles new to the state) and eliminates payment of sales tax and annual ad valorem tax. • If you purchase a vehicle in Georgia after January 1, 2012 but before March 1, 2013, you may have the option of paying annual ad valorem tax or a one-time title ad valorem tax fee. Vehicles purchased out of state are not eligible to opt in. • Whether paying the one-time title ad valorem tax fee OR annual ad valorem tax, requirements for insurance, emissions, driver’s license and the renewal of your tag by your expiration date remain the same. • If you purchased a vehicle before 2012, you will remain on the current annual ad valorem tax system. NORTH OFFICE 1358 Dresden Drive, NE Atlanta, GA 30319

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DeKalb’s accreditation in 2007. “We are perplexed by this,” Walker said. The public apparently feels the same way. At the School Board meeting Monday, several parents called on the two sides to resolve the issues quickly for the sake of the children. “We all have to take responsibility for where the school system is today,” said Viola

Davis, co-founder of the Unhappy Taxpayer Voter organization. “If that means removal of the board, then so be it.” Henson asked about alleged misappropriation of $12 million in textbook funds. Walker said an audit by KPMG accounted for all funds and blamed allegations on rumors by disgruntled parents or employees. SACS has given DeKalb until Dec. 31 to show progress and avoid losing accreditation. Board members will learn their fate soon. Jones said the DeKalb delegation will meet again with board members after the Jan. 17 hearing to prepare its own recommendations to the governor. He said Deal will consult the delegation and read its report before making a decision on replacing the board. Jones believes that decision could come within weeks of the state board hearing. “We have to get this done sooner rather than later,” Jones said. “It’s too important to the community and too important to the school system.”


Notice of Public Hearings – Jan. 22 & 24, 2013 Notice is hereby given that the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) will hold public hearings for the purpose of considering

Proposed Bus Service Modifications for April 20, 2013 Proposed routing and/or adjustments for the following bus routes: Route 6 – Emory: Realign services to operate a short turn alignment from Lindbergh Station to the North Decatur and Oxford Roads traffic circle (roundabout) and continue operation from Lindbergh Station to Inman Park/ Reynoldstown Station via alternating trips on weekdays only. Saturday and Sunday services remain unchanged and will continue to operate between Lindbergh Station and Inman Park/Reynoldstown Station all trips. Route 15 – South DeKalb/Candler Road: Realign services with an extension along River Road and Linecrest Road segments and discontinue the Ridgetop Drive, Lincolndale Drive and Clevemont Court segments in the East Glen subdivision. Route 21 – Memorial Drive: Realign services to discontinue direct service to King Memorial Station inbound to Georgia State Station. Route 21 would continue to provide direct service to King Memorial Station outbound from Georgia State Station only. Route 51 – Joseph E. Boone Blvd. /Dixie Hills: Realign services to maintain current routing to New Jersey Avenue and Joseph E. Boone Blvd., which will be the new terminus for Route 51 with the exception of the selected trips that operate via Collier Heights Apartments. The segments along Aurora Avenue, Morehouse Drive, Morris Brown Avenue and Wadley Street will be discontinued. The segments along Anderson Avenue, Tiger Flowers Drive, Carver Drive, Hyacinth Avenue, Verbena Street and Penelope Street will be assumed by modifications to Route 67-West End. Route 67 – West End: Realign services to operate a one way loop from West Lake Station that assumes segments from Route 51-Joseph E. Boone Blvd. /Dixie Hills and restructure of current services provided by Route 67. The new realignment would operate as follows from West Lake Station: Right-Anderson Avenue, Left-Waterbury Drive, Right-Anderson Avenue, Left-Tiger Flowers Drive, Left-Carver Drive, Right-Hyacinth Avenue, Left-Verbena

Tuesday, Jan. 22 3201 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr, SW

Street, Right-Penelope Street, Left-Aaron Street, RightPenelope Road, and Right-Anderson Avenue returning to West Lake Station. The segment along Verbena Street between Waterbury Drive and Chenault Place and along Chenault Place will be discontinued. Route 86 – Fairington Road/McAfee Road: Realign services to operate a short turn alignment from GRTA Panola Road Park and Ride Lot to the I-20 Access Road and Old Hillandale Drive on all service days during the hours that the Mall at Stonecrest is closed. Route 95 – Metropolitan Parkway/Hapeville: Discontinue operation along the S. Central Avenue and Tradeport Blvd. segments. All trips will terminate at King Arnold Street and Sunset Avenue with the exception of the trips that provide direct service to Atlanta Technical and Atlanta Metropolitan Colleges. Route 110 – Peachtree Street “The Peach”: Realign services to provide alternating trips between Five Points and Lenox Stations and Arts Center and Lenox Stations during the hours of 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM on all service days. Service between Arts Center and Five Points Stations will be discontinued before 9:00 AM and after 8:00PM. Route 172 – Sylvan Road/Virginia Avenue: Realign services to assume the S. Central Avenue and Tradeport Blvd. segments discontinued by Route 95 – Metropolitan Parkway/Hapeville on selected trips on weekdays and Saturdays only. Service along this segment will not be provided on Sundays. Route 186 – Rainbow Drive/South DeKalb: Realign services with an extension along Wesley Chapel Road, Snapfinger Woods Drive, E. Wesley Chapel Road returning to Snapfinger Woods Drive, which will be the new terminus for Route 186. Service along the Pleasant Wood Drive and Eastside Drive segments will be provided inbound from the Snapfinger Woods Drive terminus in the AM and outbound before terminating at Snapfinger Woods Drive in the pm until 9:00 pm on all service days.

Thursday, Jan. 24 1300 Commerce Dr, Decatur, 30030 2424 Piedmont Rd NE, Atlanta, 30324

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Community Exchange: 6-7 p.m.

Community Exchange: 6-7 p.m.

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Riding MARTA: Route 73 from H.E. Holmes Station.

Riding MARTA: Walk one block west of Decatur Rail Station.

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Copies of the proposed bus service modifications will also be available at MARTA’s Office of External Affairs, 2424 Piedmont Road, N.E. Atlanta, Georgia 30324 during regular business hours, Mon-Fri 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For formats (FREE of charge) in accordance with the ADA and Limited English Proficiency regulations contact (404) 848-4037. For those patrons requiring further accommodations, information can be obtained by calling the Telephone Device for the Deaf (TDD) at 404 848-5665. In addition, a sign language interpreter will be available at all hearings. If you cannot attend the hearings and want to provide comments you may: (1) leave a message at (404) 848-5299; (2) write to MARTA’s Office of External Af-

7:00 p.m.

fairs, 2424 Piedmont Road, N.E. Atlanta, GA 30324-3330; (3) complete an online Comment Card at; (4) or fax your comments no later than January 27, 2013 to (404) 848-4179. All citizens of the City of Atlanta and the counties of Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton and Gwinnett whose interests are affected by the subjects to be considered at these hearings are hereby notified and invited to appear at said times and places and present such evidence, comment or objection as their interests require. Keith T. Parker, AICP General Manager/CEO




January 12, 2013

“Historically, this board made an effort to maintain a racial balance in composition of their officers.”

Commissioners elect May, Sutton to lead them 2346 Candler Rd. Decatur, GA 30032 404-284-1888 Fax: 404-284-5007

Editor / Publisher Jennifer Parker Graphic Design Curtis Parker Staff Writers Jennifer Ffrench Parker Jessica Smith Ken Watts Copy Editor Brenda Yarbrough Advertising Sales Kathy E. Warner

CrossRoadsNews is published every Saturday by CrossRoads­News, Inc. We welcome articles on neighborhood issues and news of local happenings. The opinions expressed by writers and contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher, nor those of any advertisers. The concept, design and content of CrossRoads­News are copyrighted and may not be copied or reproduced in whole or in part in any manner without the written permission of the publisher.

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Commissioner Lee May is the new presiding officer of the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners. May, w h o represents Dis- Lee May trict 5, was elected by his colleagues on Jan. 8. He replaces Commissioner Larry Johnson, who served for two years in the position. May will preside over all official board meetings, oversee committee appointments, manage the board’s meeting agendas, and approve proclamation requests. District 4 Commissioner Sharon BarnesSutton was elected deputy presid-

ing officer. May, w h o won re-election to a second full term last July, said his goal is to build upon the great leadership of his predecesS. Barnes-Sutton sor. He was first elected to the board in 2006 to replace Hank Johnson, who was elected to Congress. “We are at a pivotal and critical time in our county’s history that requires innovative ideas, strategic planning, and engaged leaders to move this county forward,” May said. He served four years as deputy presiding officer and two years

as chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee and member on the Public Safety and General Safety Committee. He also has served in leadership roles for three years with the National Association of Counties. Barnes-Sutton said she is looking forward to serving and working with all branches of government to make DeKalb the premier county in the state. “I look forward to adding my insight and perspective as we serve the people of DeKalb,” she said. The election of two AfricanAmericans to the top leadership posts drew sharp comments from District 6 Commissioner Kathie Gannon, one of three white members on the seven-member board.

“Historically, this board made an effort to maintain a racial balance in composition of their officers, to take into consideration all of DeKalb County – one DeKalb,” she said. This was an encore of remarks Gannon made in 2009 when the board first elected Johnson to serve as presiding officer and May as deputy presiding officer. Gannon tried to get District 2 Commissioner Jeff Rader elected as deputy presiding officer but the motion failed. She criticized May for tending to vote on the side of political expediency and said Barnes-Sutton was a poor choice because of her financial problems that has landed her in the news for passing bad checks.

Judge to receive Benham Award for Community Service DeKalb Superior Court Judge Asha F. Jackson will be among recipients of the 14th annual Justice Robert Benham Awards for Community Service. She and 11 lawyers from across the state will get their Asha F. Jackson awards on Feb. 26 at a special ceremony. Jackson, who was appointed to the DeKalb bench in February 2012 by Gov. Nathan Deal, took office in March, succeeding Judge Michael

Hancock, who retired. She is the sixth female judge on the 10-member DeKalb Superior Court bench. Immediately before her appointment, Jackson was a partner in the Atlanta law firm Barnes & Thornburg LLP, where she focused on commercial litigation, product liability, premises liability and employment counseling. She also served as a pro hac judge for the DeKalb Recorders Court. The Benham Awards for Community Service are co-sponsored by the State Bar of Georgia and the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism. It is one of the highest recognitions given by the

New Decatur mayor, pro tem Commissioner Jim Baskett is the city of Decatur’s new mayor. Baskett was elected by his colleagues on the Decatur City Jim Baskett Commission on Jan. 7. He succeeds Bill Floyd, who resigned after 14 years to pursue other opportunities. The five-member commission also elected fellow Commissioner Kecia Cunningham as mayor pro tem. Baskett, who was elected to the commission in 1995, had been mayor pro tem for the past 10 years.

He thanked his colleagues for their trust in his abilities and promised to continue his commitment to “working together as a team Kecia Cunningham to make this a better community for all of us.” Cunningham, a member of the City Commission since 1999, thanked the other commissioners for expressing their faith in her. She said she anticipates “strengthening our communication and working harder together.” The special election to fill Floyd’s District 1 commission seat will take place in March.

two professional organizations. Since 1998, these Lifetime Achievement Awards have honored lawyers and judges in Georgia who have made significant contributions to their communities and demonstrate the positive contributions of members of the bar beyond their legal or official work. They are given to selected attorneys in the judicial districts of Georgia from which nominations were received. Honorees have served a wide range of community organizations, government-sponsored activities, and humanitarian efforts outside of their professional practices and judicial duties. Their

fields of service include youth athletics and mentoring programs, literacy programs, social services, church and religious activities, politics, promotion and support for legal aid programs, community development, education, sports, recreation, and the arts. The awards presentation and reception take place 6 to 8 p.m. at the State Bar of Georgia, 104 Marietta St. N.W., Third Floor, in Atlanta. Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham will present the awards and Chief Justice Carol W. Hunstein will bring special remarks. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

Oldest American dies at 114 Maime Rearden, the oldest living American for just over two weeks, died Jan. 5 at age 114. Rearden, mother of 11 children, died at a hospital in Augusta, about 20 miles south of her Edgefield, S.C., Maime Rearden home, said her youngest daughter, Sara Rearden. Gerontology Research Group, which verifies age information for Guinness World Records, listed Rearden as the oldest living American after the death of 115-year-old Dina Manfredini of

Iowa on Dec. 17. Her Sept. 7, 1898, birth was recorded in the 1900 U.S. Census. She was more than a year younger than the world’s oldest person, 115-yearold Jiroemon Kimura of Japan. Rearden recently broke a hip and had difficulty breathing the week before her death, her daughter said. “I was looking right at her when she took her last breath.” Rearden, a Baptist, was a schoolteacher early in life, but after getting married and starting a family, she became a homemaker. She obtained her first driver’s license at 65 and became a case worker for an anti-poverty program. Her husband, Oacy Rearden, died in 1979 at age 88. They were married for 59 years.

Memorial service on Jan. 19 in Conyers for Glass siblings FIRE,

from page


The family will hold a memorial service on Jan. 19 at Macedonia Baptist at 1052 Barton St. Reeba Glass’ mother, Rosetta Mitchell, who was downstairs, was able to get out the front door to safety and wasn’t hurt in the fire.

National EMS treated her at the scene for chest pains. The cause of the fire remained unknown at press time. Fire and Rescue Chief Dan Morgan said there were no sprinklers in the duplex. He said at the time it was built, in 1983, they were not required.

The duplex had a smoke detector but investigators say there were no batteries in it. The smoke detector was on the first floor. The fire originated on the second floor. Gregory Levett and Sons Funeral Home in Conyers told the Associated Press it is contributing

free services for the four children. In addition to the Wells Fargo fund, anyone wanting to make contributions to the family can contact Pastor Billie Cox at 770-262-4076. Cox said women’s clothing in sizes 20 and 22, shoes in sizes 7.5 and 8, and boy’s clothing size 6 and shoes size 11 are needed.

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The Social Security Statement provides estimates you should consider in your retirement planning.

Social Security: Plan for the future January is National Financial Wellness Month, and the Social Security Administration is encouraging American workers to add financial wellness to their list of New Year’s resolutions. Alicia Lipscomb, a public affairs specialist in the Georgia Area Director’s Office of the SSA, says the start of a new year is always a great time to think about your financial future. She offers these steps to guide you on the path to financial fitness: n Start your financial plan with your Social Security Statement. The online statement is simple, easy to use, and provides estimates you should consider in your retirement planning. It provides estimates for disability and survivors benefits. Social Security benefits are based on average earnings over your lifetime, and the statement allows you to review your information and ensure that your earnings are accurately posted to your Social Security record. If the information is incorrect, or you have earnings missing from your record, you may not receive all the benefits to which you are entitled in the future (www.socialsecurity .gov/mystatement). n Work the numbers. Once you get your online statement, you can use the other free resources provided by Social Security. Use the Retirement Estimator, where you can get a personalized, instant estimate of your future retirement benefits using different retirement ages and scenarios. Find the Retirement Estimator at www n Once you are in the know, choose to save. The earlier you begin your financial planning, the better off you will be. Social Security replaces about 40 percent of the

January 12, 2013

average worker’s pre-retirement earnings. Most financial advisers say that you will need 70 percent or more of pre-retirement earnings to live comfortably. You also will need other savings, investments, pensions or retirement accounts to make sure you have enough money to live comfortably when you retire. Visit the Ballpark Estimator for tips to help you save at /ballpark. n Do some light reading. Learn more about Social Security, the benefit programs, and what they mean to you and your family by browsing through the online library of publications. In particular, the publication “When to Start Receiving Retirement Benefits” provides helpful information regarding the things you should consider when making a decision on when to collect retirement benefits. Many publications also are available in audio format and other formats. The library at is always open. n Help someone you love. Sometimes we get the most satisfaction out of helping someone else. If you have a grandparent, parent, relative or friend who could benefit from Social Security, share the Web site and the features of the online services with them. You can even help a loved one apply for Social Security benefits in as little as 15 minutes – or for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug costs. Whether you forward a publication or sit down to help someone apply for Social Security, the place to go is

New tax method for car sales Georgia’s birthday tax is going away this year on vehicles purchased and titled on or after March 1. The sales and use tax, and the annual ad valorem tax known as the “birthday tax” because it is due on a car owner’s birthday, will be replaced by a new one-time title ad valorem tax based on the fair market value of the vehicle. In 2013, it is 6.5 percent, and in 2014, 6.75 percent. House Bill 386, passed by the 2012 General Assembly, called for the new taxation method. It affects sales at dealerships as well as private, casual sales. Car owners who purchased and titled vehicles between Jan. 1, 2012, and March

1, 2013, also may be eligible to opt into the new one-time ad valorem tax. Trailers, pullbehind campers and older model vehicles that don’t have a current Georgia title are not qualified for the new option and have to continue to pay the annual ad valorem tax. The old ad valorem tax system will continue for vehicles titled in 2011 or earlier. In addition to the TAVT, residents in one of the three transportation districts that approved the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum in July 2012 also will be required to pay up to $50 in sales tax when purchasing a motor vehicle. For more information, visit the Georgia Department of Revenue at http://onlinemvd

CEO to discuss MARTA’s agenda focused on working with employKeith T. Parker, MARTA’s new ees, customers, transit stakeholdCEO and general manager, will speak ers and the community to provide to DeKalb business people on Jan. safe, efficient and high-quality 23 about the transit authority’s 2013 transit services to the Atlanta agenda and other initiatives. region. The speech will kick off the MARTA provides nearly DeKalb Chamber’s Executive Speak420,000 passenger boardings a er Series, formerly known as First day. Monday Lunch. Keith Parker Parker was most recently It takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Perimeter, 4386 president and CEO of VIA transit in San Chamblee Dunwoody Road in Atlanta. Tick- Antonio. He signed a five-year contract ets purchased by Jan. 18 are $35 for members with MARTA that includes a $320,000 base salary with automatic, one-year renewable and $45 for nonmembers. Parker took the helm of the nation’s options. He has a bachelor’s degree in politininth-largest transit system, which includes cal science, a master’s in urban and regional heavy rail, bus and paratransit services, on planning, and an M.B.A. For more information, call 404-378-8000 Dec. 10. Under his leadership, the authority is or visit

Some long-term jobless to lose aid Some recipients of federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits in Georgia will lose extended benefits after Jan. 12. Georgia will “trigger off ” EUC’s Tier 4 unemployment insurance program during the week ending Jan. 12 because the state’s jobless rate has declined in the past three months. In a Jan. 10 statement, state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the state’s jobless rate was 9 percent in September, but it dipped to 8.7 percent in October and 8.5 percent in November. Federal law mandates that a state in which

EUC is provided must have a three-month seasonally adjusted unemployment average of 9 percent to remain “on” in Tier 4. As a result of triggering off, EUC claimants can exhaust Tier 3 benefits and establish Tier 4 eligibility. However, under provisions of the phase-out, claimants who establish Tier 4 by Jan. 13 will be eligible to receive the remainder of Tier 4 either until benefits exhaust or the EUC program ends on Dec. 28, 2013. EUC was established in 2008 to aid the long-term unemployed. For more information, visit www.dol

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“Through early detection and treatment, we can help lessen the effects of glaucoma and other eye diseases on vision.”

More than 82,000 Georgians have glaucoma Seniors wanted The incidence of glaucoma in the state has increased an alarming 35 percent in the past 10 years, and Prevent Blindness Georgia says that half of those people are not aware of it. Glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness, afflicts more than 82,000 Georgians. Prevent Blindness has joined with other leading vision and eye health groups in observing January as National Glaucoma Awareness Month. Jenny Pomeroy, the group’s CEO, said that the organization hopes that everyone will make their eye health a priority this year and schedule an Jenny Pomeroy eye exam. “Through early detection and treatment, we can help lessen the effects of glaucoma and other eye diseases on vision,” Pomeroy said in a Jan. 9 statement. Glaucoma is often referred to as the “sneak thief of sight” because symptoms develop so gradually that the patient may not notice them right away. Glaucoma is actually a group of eye conditions that can damage the optic nerve. Cataracts – clouding of the lenses in the eyes – are the leading cause of blindness. Symptoms for open-angle glaucoma may include developing blind spots in the peripheral vision. If left untreated, over time, glaucoma also may damage central vision. More than 2.7 million Americans age 40 and older have open-angle glaucoma. This is a 22 percent increase from just 10 years ago, according to the 2012 Vision Problems in the U.S. report from Prevent Blindness America and the National Eye Institute.

Blacks are disproportionately affected by glaucoma, called “the sneak thief of sight” because the symptoms develop so gradually the patient may not recognize them.

Risk factors for glaucoma include age, family history, nearsightedness, eye injury or surgery, and the use of steroid medications. Race is another major risk factor. Glaucoma is five times more likely to occur in blacks than in whites, and blacks are four times more likely to go blind from it. Hispanics are more likely to develop glaucoma after age 60 than any other group. Once vision is lost to glaucoma, it cannot be restored. However, promising research from the University of Michigan Medical School, led by Dr. Joshua Stein, found that the risk for glaucoma was reduced by eight percent in hyperlipidemia patients who took statins continuously for two years, compared with patients who did not take statins. The study, “The Relationship Between Statin Use and Open-Angle Glaucoma,”

S. Elizabeth Ford, M.D., M.B.A., Director, DeKalb County Board of Health, is a DeKalb County Resident.

More fresh fruits and vegetables. Healthy foods in lots of new places, like urban farms near you. DeKalb County residents deserve them. So the DeKalb County Board of Health is creating healthier options throughout our county. Read more at

found that statin use may be most effective in the early stages of the disease or as a preventive measure. The findings offer encouragement for future research on the effects of statins on a broader group of people. Prevent Blindness Georgia provides free resources to educate the public on glaucoma through “The Glaucoma Learning Center” at and printed materials available by calling 404266-2020. The organization touches the lives of thousands each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screening and training, and community and patient service programs. For more information on glaucoma or Medicare benefits for glaucoma services, visit or call Prevent Blindness Georgia at 404-266-2020.

to help kids get fit, healthy

Fifty-something volunteers who want to get in shape and help kids get fit too are needed for CATCH Healthy Habits sessions starting Feb. 4 in Scottdale, Decatur and other metro Atlanta locations. Adults can improve their own health while teaching elementary school children the benefits of healthy eating and physical activity. They are needed to conduct classes once a week for eight weeks. All training and program materials will be provided free of charge. Winter/spring class sessions start Feb. 4 at the following locations: n Tobie-Grant Manor Residences in Scottdale: Mondays 3-4 p.m. n East DeKalb Boys & Girls Club in Lithonia: Tuesdays 4-5 p.m. n Villages at Carver YMCA in Atlanta: Tuesdays 4-5 p.m. n Brookhaven Boys & Girls Club in Atlanta: Wednesdays 4:45- 5:45 p.m. n Decatur Family YMCA in Decatur: Wednesdays 3-4 p.m. n Carl E. Sanders YMCA in Atlanta: Thursdays 3-4 p.m. For more information on CATCH Healthy Habits, visit and click on Programs. To get involved, contact Mary Newton, Atlanta Regional Commission volunteer services specialist, at mnewton@atlanta or 404-463-3119.

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January 12, 2013

January 12, 2013

Celebrating King



“We want to ignite a flame of freedom in the hearts of people everywhere that long for peace, prosperity, justice, and yes, even brotherhood and sisterhood.”

Parade relocates to new Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway By Ken Watts

The DeKalb NAACP’s 11th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade will march down Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway for the first time on Jan. 21. The group is relocating the parade from downtown Stone Mountain to the parkway in Lithonia. State Sen. Ronald Ramsey sponsored the resolution to designate the 5.1-mile stretch of Snapfinger Road between Wesley Chapel Road and the Henry County line for the late civil rights leader last year. The parade will start at the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur and culminate at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Lithonia. The road designation is ceremonial. Snapfinger Road, which is also known as State Route 155, retains its name. The NAACP voted to switch the parade route at its November Executive Committee meeting. Organizers have spent the past few weeks encouraging school bands, churches, community and civic groups, dance troupes, cheerleaders, bike and auto clubs, and others to participate. Sarah Copelin-Wood, chair of the Parade and Rally Committee, said bands from Stone Mountain, Cedar Grove, McNair and King high schools already have signed on. She said groups that want to participate

Martin Luther King Jr. High School’s marching band is one of four that already have signed up to participate in the DeKalb NAACP’s annual King Day Parade and Rally.

Curtis Parker / CrossRoadsNews

should just line up at 10:30 a.m. in the church’s parking lot. Copelin-Wood, who is also the DeKalb District 3 School Board representative, said participants are encouraged to carry banners celebrating King’s legacy. The Rev. Samuel Mosteller, president of the Georgia SCLC, and Lester Ruffin (HeadKract) of TV One and Hot 107.9 FM radio Lester Ruffin will serve as grand marshals.

Organizers also are looking for volunteers and sponsors. The parade begins at 12:30 p.m. in the Ray’s parking lot. There will be a rally at MLK Jr. High, the only Georgia school named for King. King was born in Atlanta on Jan. 15, 1929. He

was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn., where he was participating in a march of sanitation workers seeking better wages and working conditions. Copelin-Wood said the NAACP is hoping a broad cross section of the community will turn out for the parade’s new route. For more information, contact CopelinWood at or call 404-371-1490.

Observance celebrates ‘I Have a Dream’ speech milestone, 84th birthday

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is shown with his wife, the late Coretta Scott King.

A 10-day observance celebrating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and his 84th birthday anniversary on Jan. 15 kicks off this week. “Remember! Celebrate! Act! King’s Dream for Our World” is the theme of the 2013 observance of King’s birthday, announced by the King Center on Jan. 5. All events, except the annual Salute to Greatness Awards Dinner on Jan. 19, are free to attend. King Center CEO Bernice A. King said the observance will present an inspiring, educational and multifaceted program of events for youth and adults. The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Project takes place on Jan. 21, when communities volunteer all day to make their neighborhoods better. King, who is the daughter of the late civil rights leader and icon, says the King Center challenges people of all nations to begin a new era of nonviolent conflict reconciliation in keeping with her father’s vision of the essential unity of all people. “We want to ignite a flame of freedom in the hearts of people everywhere that long for peace, prosperity, justice, and yes, even brotherhood and sisterhood,” she said. The Salute to Greatness Awards Dinner at 6:30 p.m. at Atlanta’s Hyatt Regency Hotel

ML King Weekend at Saint Philip Two dynamic preachers from the North will help Saint Philip AME Church celebrate the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 19 and 20. Bishop Walter Scott Thomas Sr. from the New Psalmist Baptist Church Walter Thomas in Baltimore and Dr. DeForest “Buster” Soaries Jr. will preach for Saint Philip’s annual King Weekend celebration. The church kicks off the observance with a Jan. 19 breakfast featuring Thomas, who grew his church from 200 members in 1975 to more than 7,000 active members today. Thomas is a highly regarded executive and personal coach with more than 30 years of experience working with church leaders, pastors and church staff and building effective ministry teams.

The breakfast begins at 9 a.m. and is free to attend, but space is limited and reservations are required by calling 404371-0749. Soaries, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in SomDeForest Soaries erset, N.J., is a pioneer of faith-based community development. His pastoral ministry focuses on spiritual growth, educational excellence and economic empowerment. A former N.J. secretary of state, he is the first African-American male to serve as a constitutional officer in that state; he also served as chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Soaries will speak on Jan. 20 at the 7:30 and 11 a.m. worship services. Saint Philip AME is at 240 Candler Road. For more information, call 404-371-0749.

Centennial Ballroom will honor Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and Aflac Inc. chairman and CEO Daniel Amos. Yunus, the recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, is the founder of the Gameen Bank. He is Muhammad Yunus considered “the father of micro-credit.” Amos’ award recognizes Aflac’s extraordinary efforts to promote education, youth opportunities and economic development in diverse communities. The Annual Com- Daniel Amos memorative Service takes place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 21, the federal holiday. This year’s featured keynote speaker is an “electrifying orator,” the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. His address will be a first for a Latino leader at the Commemorative Service, which is the nation’s “flagship” ecumenical religious observance on the King holiday.

It takes place in the Ebenezer Baptist Church Horizon Sanctuary and will include presentations from people of diverse races and faiths. Other events include the King Youth Expo and Showcase from noon to 4 p.m. on Jan. 12, featuring young leaders who are demonstrating King’s spirit, philosophy and teachings in their schools, homes, communities and places of worship. It will provide peer-to-peer training and offer an on-site “Tweet Suite,” where young people can generate ideas to prevent youth violence and discuss strategies for creating the “beloved community” of which King dreamed. There also will be a King Health and Wellness Fest on Jan. 12; the Metropolitan Atlanta Violence Prevention Project on Jan. 15; Kingian Nonviolence Collegiate Leadership Orientation on Jan. 16; and the Dream Art Contest Awards Ceremony on Jan. 19. On Jan. 17, the State of Georgia Martin Luther King Jr. Advisory Council will host a tribute to King at 2 p.m. in the north wing of the State Capitol, and on Jan. 18, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will host a naturalization ceremony in the King Center’s Freedom Hall Auditorium. For more information, visit www.the or call 404-526-8900.


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January 12, 2013

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Reader Notice As a service to you – our valued readers – we offer the following information: This newspaper will never knowingly accept any advertisement that is illegal or considered fraudulent. If you have questions or doubts about any ads on these pages, we advise that before responding or sending money ahead of time, you check with the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Line and/or the Better Business Bureau. They may have records or documented complaints that will serve to caution you about doing business with those advertisers. Also be advised that some phone numbers published in these ads may require an extra charge. In all cases of questionable value, such as promises or guaranteed income from work-at-home programs, money to loan, etc., if it sounds too good to be true –­ it may in fact be exactly that. This newspaper cannot be held responsible for any negative consequences that occur as a result of you doing business with any advertisers. Thank you.



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w w w. M a lc o lmC unn i n g h am F or d. c om

Manager’s service special

Oil change


SAturdAy & MondAy only.

Cannot be combined with any other discounts, promotions or coupons. Must present this offer to Advisor at time of write up. Expires 1/31/2013.

iMprOve YOur Fuel Mileage

valvoline fuel System Service cleans injectors to improve fuel delivery efficiency, removes carbon deposits from intake valves and combustion chambers and cleans the Throttle Body and Air intake System. This process reduces tip in hesitation and improves throttle response.

LiMiTed TiMe OffeR Regularly $




Save $40

Cannot be combined with any other discounts, promotions or coupons. Must present this offer to Advisor at time of write up. Expires 1/31/2013.

Expires 1/14/2013.

2 Wheel alignMents LiMiTed TiMe OffeR Regularly $





Save $20

Cannot be combined with any other discounts, promotions or coupons. Must present this offer to Advisor at time of write up. Expires 1/31/2013.

need credit?

We cAn heLp!

2004 Toyota Sequoia

Low Miles




priced To Sell




2006 Mercedes-Benz e350

2011 nissan Sentra Gas Saver


Low priced Luxury






2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited

2012 volkswagen cc

SeRvice SpeciAL

Free tire rOtatiOn!

no purchase necessary!

YOUR FiRst, Last and OnLY stOP!

We NoW ReNt

Loaded, Must See


Sun Roof, Leather



2003 nissan FrOntier

StK#A3154A, Crew Cab....................................................

2008 FOrd FusiOn sel


2009 hOnda civic




11,998 StK#A2041, Gas Saver, like new, low Miles.............. 12,995 2010 FOrd FusiOn $ StK#A3133, P/W, P/l, Auto ........................................ 13,995 2005 BMW X5 $ StK#A3142, luxury and Sporty ................................. 13,995 2010 tOYOta caMrY $ StK#A3171, Auto, Cd, P/W, P/l .................................. 14,995 StK#A3189, Fun, Sporty.............................................




2012 FOrd FOcus


2011 FOrd taurus


14,995 StK#A3196, Family Fun Starts Here ........................... 16,995 2012 FOrd Mustang $ StK#A3200, Convertible, Auto, low Miles ................... 18,995 2007 leXus es350 $ StK#A3177, navigation, Sun roof, nice ..................... 18,995 2012 dOdge charger $ StK#A3194, ride In Style .......................................... 19,995 2008 Mercedes-Benz r-350 $ StK#S3125, navigation, Sun roof, leather................ 20,995 StK#A3198, Auto, Gas Saver .....................................

Prices plus tax, tag, title, with approved credit. offers expire 1/31/2013.

. 7 70 987.9000 I-20, Exit Wesley Chapel • To Snapfinger Woods Drive Sales Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-8pm • Closed Sunday

A Division of Malcolm Cunningham Ford


4C (10.5”) × 16” 37220-MCAQ (1-12) Crossroads Newspaper FC (lm)

special! 95 $

You Spend $100 And We Take ............. $20 Off! You Spend $200 And We Take ............. $40 Off! You Spend $300 And We Take ............. $60 Off! You Spend $400 And We Take ............. $80 Off! You Spend $500 Or More And We Take $100 Off!

2006 ford Taurus

CrossRoadsNews, January 12, 2013  
CrossRoadsNews, January 12, 2013  

CrossRoadsNews, January 12, 2013